The steel export trade from Iran has been hurt by neighboring countries closing their borders due to the appearance of coronavirus infection in the Middle Eastern country, Fastmarkets learnt on February 28.

The global novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is putting bearish pressure on negotiations for the second-quarter MJP aluminium premium, according to market participants who told Fastmarkets they expect the premium to fall year on year.

A surge in Chinese high-carbon ferro-chrome production last year led to a jump in buying interest for chrome ore, resulting in a significant build-up of ore inventories in the country that is dampening market sentiment.

Battery-grade lithium prices were unchanged in Asia, Europe and the United States in the week to Thursday February 27, with market participants continuing to track the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) in South Korea and Europe although both regions are yet to see a great impact on prices, sources said.

World silico-manganese output dropped by 4.5% year on year in January due to production cuts across most global regions, the latest data from the International Manganese Institute (IMnI) shows.